Representation of the People Act 1983

Publication Date:January 01, 1983
 
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Representation of the People Act 1983

1983 CHAPTER 2

An Act to consolidate the Representation of the People Acts of 1949, 1969, 1977, 1978 and 1980, the Electoral Registers Acts of 1949 and 1953, the Elections (Welsh Forms) Act 1964, Part III of the Local Government Act 1972, sections 6 to 10 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act 1973, the Representation of the People (Armed Forces) Act 1976, the Returning Officers (Scotland) Act 1977, section 3 of the Representation of the People Act 1981, section 62 of and Schedule 2 to the Mental Health (Amendment) Act 1982, and connected provisions; and to repeal as obsolete the Representation of the People Act 1979 and other enactments related to the Representation of the People Acts.

[8th February 1983]

Be it enacted by the Queen's most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

I Parliamentary and Local Government Franchise and its Exercise

Part I

Parliamentary and Local Government

Franchise and its Exercise

Parliamentary and local government franchise

Parliamentary and local government franchise

S-1 Parliamentary electors.

1 Parliamentary electors.

(1) A person entitled to vote as an elector at a parliamentary election in any constituency is one who—

(a ) is resident there on the qualifying date (subject to subsection (2) below in relation to Northern Ireland); and

(b ) on that date and on the date of the poll—

(i) is not subject to any legal incapacity to vote (age apart); and

(ii) is either a Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland

and

(c ) is of voting age (that is, 18 years or over) on the date of the poll.

(2) A person is not entitled to vote as an elector at a parliamentary election in any constituency in Northern Ireland unless he was resident in Northern Ireland during the whole of the period of three months ending on the qualifying date for that election.

(3) A person is not entitled to vote as an elector in any constituency unless registered there in the register of parliamentary electors to be used at the election.

(4) A person is not entitled to vote as an elector—

(a ) more than once in the same constituency at any parliamentary election

(b ) in more than one constituency at a general election.

S-2 Local government electors.

2 Local government electors.

(1) A person entitled to vote as an elector at a local government election in any electoral area is one who—

(a ) is resident there on the qualifying date; and

(b ) on that date and on the date of the poll—

(i) is not subject to any legal incapacity to vote (age apart); and

(ii) is either a Commonwealth citizen or a citizen of the Republic of Ireland

and

(c ) is of voting age (that is, 18 years or over) on the date of the poll.

(2) A person is not entitled to vote as an elector in any electoral area unless registered there in the register of local government electors to be used at the election.

(3) A person is not entitled to vote as an elector—

(a ) more than once in the same electoral area at any local government election; and

(b ) in more than one electoral area at an ordinary election for any local government area which is not a single electoral area.

S-3 Disfranchisement of offenders in prison etc.

3 Disfranchisement of offenders in prison etc.

(1) A convicted person during the time that he is detained in a penal institution in pursuance of his sentence is legally incapable of voting at any parliamentary or local government election.

(2) For this purpose—

(a ) ‘convicted person’ means any person found guilty of an offence (whether under the law of the United Kingdom or not), including a person found guilty by a court-martial under the Army Act 1955 , the Air Force Act 1955 or the Naval Discipline Act 1957 or on a summary trial under section 49 of the Naval Discipline Act 1957 , or by a Standing Civilian Court established under the Armed Forces Act 1976 , but not including a person dealt with by committal or other summary process for contempt of court; and

(b ) ‘penal institution’ means an institution to which the Prison Act 1952 , the Prisons (Scotland) Act 1952 or the Prison Act (Northern Ireland) 1953 applies; and

(c ) a person detained for default in complying with his sentence shall not be treated as detained in pursuance of the sentence, whether or not the sentence provided for detention in the event of default, but a person detained by virtue of a conditional pardon in respect of an offence shall be treated as detained in pursuance of his sentence for the offence.

(3) It is immaterial for the purposes of this section whether a conviction or sentence was before or after the passing of this Act.

S-4 Qualifying date.

4 Qualifying date.

(1) In England and Wales and Scotland, 10th October in any year is the qualifying date for a parliamentary or local government election at which the date fixed for the poll falls within the period of twelve months beginning with 16th February in the next following year.

(2) In Northern Ireland, 15th September in any year is the qualifying date for such a parliamentary election as is mentioned above, subject to the Secretary of State's power under section 13(2) below.

S-5 Residence.

5 Residence.

(1) For the purposes of sections 1 and 2 above any question as to a person's residence on the qualifying date for an election—

(a ) shall be determined in accordance with the general principles formerly applied in determining questions as to a person's residence on a particular day of the qualifying period within the meaning of the Representation of the People Act 1918 ; and

(b ) in particular regard shall be had to the purpose and other circumstances, as well as to the fact, of his presence at or absence from the address in question.

(2) Without prejudice to those general principles, a person's residence in a dwelling house shall not be deemed for the purposes of sections 1 and 2 to have been interrupted—

(a ) by reason of that person's absence in the performance of any duty arising from or incidental to any office service or employment held or undertaken by him, if he intends to resume actual residence within six months of giving it up and will not be prevented by the performance of that duty; or

(b ) by reason of permission being given by letting or otherwise for its occupation furnished by some other person—

(i) if the permission is given in the expectation that throughout the period for which it is given the person giving it or his wife or her husband will be absent in the performance of any such duty as is mentioned above; or

(ii) if the first mentioned person intends to resume actual residence within nine weeks of giving it up and will not be prevented by the permission given as mentioned above.

(3) A person who is detained at any place in legal custody shall not by reason thereof be treated for the purposes of sections 1 and 2 as resident there.

S-6 Residence: merchant seamen.

6 Residence: merchant seamen.

6. At any time when a merchant seaman is not resident in the United Kingdom and would have been resident there but for the nature of his occupation, he shall be entitled to be treated for the purposes of sections 1 and 2 above as resident—

a ) at any place at which he would have been resident but for the nature of his occupation; or
b ) at any hostel or club providing accommodation for merchant seamen at which he commonly stays in the course of his occupation

For this purpose ‘merchant seaman’ means any person not having a service qualification whose employment or the greater part of it...

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